Last month, The Architectural Review released the shortlists for the Woman Architect of the Year and the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture. Featuring an extraordinarily talented lineup of women, the contenders are all at the forefront of design, and hail from around the world: China, England, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and the United States.
Under the Woman Architect of the Year award, four familiar names — Tatiana Bilbao, Jeanne Gang, Kazuyo Sejima and Charlotte Skene Catling — have been nominated for their recent projects that have had an outstanding impact in their respective sectors. The corresponding award, the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture, has a list of works from female architects who have used innovative architecture to positively affect social change.
In celebration of International Women’s day, explore this collection of projects showcasing works from all of the talented women that have been shortlisted for these prestigious awards:
The co-founder of On-site, Marie Zawistowski, works to expand the role of architects through community development projects. Serving as an elegant fieldhouse for a little league baseball diamond, the vertical, solid-steel studs, painted white, line the perimeter providing open air views across the field through three pavilions: a concession kitchen, restrooms and storage for equipment, as well as a covered picnic area.
Using concrete blocks and wooden pallets to offer a design-led solution to Mexico’s housing crisis, Tatiana Bilbao’s prototype project was developed as a flexible family dwelling that can be constructed for under $8,000. This pink scheme installed onsite demonstrates the modular capability of the project, which allows homes to be expanded in phases to adapt to each family’s individual budget and requirements.
Saija Hollmén, Jenni Reuter and Helena Sandman, partners of Hollmén Sandman Reuter, founded NGO Ukumbi — offering architectural services designed for communities in need, like this shelter for women and children. Providing legal, health, social and economic aid to women, they also provide equal access to justice to women and children.
With collaboration in mind, Design, Bitches works to reshape America’s eateries with projects like this — where architecture, culture and pop all intersect under one roof. Transforming a previously decrepit warehouse into an urban oasis, this mixed-use program encourages holistic mind/body wellness with an integrated non-hierarchical layout of segmented spa/recreation spaces between concrete block planters.
Driven by the creative nature of the design process, Burnazzi dreams up projects such as this striking community center. Dedicated to three young victims of the L’Aquila earthquake, the structure is built on one level only, housing an entrance hall, two multipurpose rooms, the library, one music room and a store room all with both open and covered spaces.
Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA has been shortlisted for her Pritzker award for winning design projects, but most particularly for this sinuous cultural center nestled into the rolling hills of Grace Farms. The multipurpose building provides an open space for visitors to experience nature, encounter the arts, foster a sense of community and explore their spirituality.
Named the best new house in the U.K. by RIBA in 2015, Charlotte Catling’s wedge-shaped Flint House consists of three bedrooms, a dining room, kitchen, library and study, plus a self-contained annex studio. Constructed from the neolithic material, the scheme moves from more utilitarian and open spaces to more contemplative, private rooms burrowed in the existing trees at the far ends of each structure.
Petra Gipp, founder of Petra Gipp Arkitektur AB, is famous for her iconic works that blend architectural and sculptural expression. The Cathedral — an award winning example of such expressive work — is a sculptural form constructed out of rough tar paper, concrete and spruce plywood.
Gabriela Etchegaray, co-founder of Ambrosi Etchegaray, works extensively with the role of local heritage in architecture. This building, comprised of eight dwellings, separates itself from its long edge, taking over the corner with a structural volume resulting from openings in the façade and balconies.
In all of Anna Heringer’s NGO work, a sustainable building approach puts to use local, traditional materials and new approaches for efficiency and structural integrity. A key example being the METI School, constructed out of Earthbound materials such as loam and straw, which addresses sustainability in construction and local design solutions.
Di Zhang, founder of waa, began her career at the age of 28 with the intent to focus on projects that are art and culture related. Moving forward with her focus, she designed the MOCA contemporary art museum in Yinchuan, which aimed to bring local communities together by “enhancing the well-being of future social infrastructure.”